How did/will you decide when to retire?
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    How did/will you decide when to retire?

    I'm going to be 55 next year, so entering the front end of what I'd consider the normal retirement range. I'm self employed, so no lifetime pension. My financial security will be 100% tied to personal savings and investments. Of course, there are many calculators out there to project the numbers, but all rely on a lot of guessing as to future inflation, rates of return, longevity, etc. The only safe option is to work until you die, but that doesn't seem like a fun idea.

    How did you make the decision? When did you say "that's enough, I want to relax and play with my tractor"?

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    MacCool's Avatar
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    I'm in my late 60's, work full time. I suppose I could retire any time but I enjoy my job. I'll gradually taper down as my replacement (already hired) ramps up, but will continue to work as long as I enjoy it, and as long as I'm good at it. There is no shortage of mechanisms for evaluation, so the point where I begin to lose it, it if happens, will certainly become apparent to others, if not to me.
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    I was 68/69 when a couple of work/age related injuries kept me out of work recouping longer than management thought was acceptable, so they hired a replacement. I didn't fault them for that, as a business needs to keep up with demand, but the job they offered me when the doctor released me, was ,in my opinion more strenuous then this old body could handle so weighing in my limitations, our retirement income and lifestyle the better half and I decided it was time. Funny thing is, I think I am working more now than before retiring, just not for monetary gain
    Roger O
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    2LaneCruzer's Avatar
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    I retired from state service at age 63; worked another 4 years off and on, then hung it up. I had plenty to keep me active; I did a lot of woodworking, spent a lot of time and money on my hobby...classic cars...and with an acreage, there is always plenty to do...so I have been plenty busy...and 15 years later, I'm finding that there is too much to do at my age. I have learned a couple things in retrospect; I'm happy to relate those to you.

    1. Although I liked my job, I retired early to take a job with a law firm that promised a big pay out. I was there a couple of years, but I hated it. I made enough extra to build a nice shop and pay for it, but that's small consolation. In retrospect, I should have stayed with my career job another 4 or 5 years; I would have been happier and my retirement would have been a lot better money wise.

    2. You need something to keep you busy...retirement doesn't mean much if you sit around looking for something to do all the time. If your job allows, you might keep your hand in part time until you are sure you can let it go entirely. Travel is fun, if you have the money and are healthy, but it gets pretty expensive.
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    MN - When I began work as an engineer in the early 1980's, my first company used age plus years of service to determine eligibility, starting at age 55 with 20 years minimum service . That company merged with another and they lowered the minimum age to 50 and the service years to ten. I wanted to work until my late 50's, but a stroke that I had at age 50 (with 28 years service) accelerated that plan. Investment income, SSDI for me and SS for my Mrs. and we're doing fine.

    A lot of my retirement eligible friends said that their retirement trigger point was : "My next bad Monday!"

    Brian

    Quote Originally Posted by MN3046 View Post
    I'm going to be 55 next year, so entering the front end of what I'd consider the normal retirement range. I'm self employed, so no lifetime pension. My financial security will be 100% tied to personal savings and investments. Of course, there are many calculators out there to project the numbers, but all rely on a lot of guessing as to future inflation, rates of return, longevity, etc. The only safe option is to work until you die, but that doesn't seem like a fun idea.

    How did you make the decision? When did you say "that's enough, I want to relax and play with my tractor"?
    Last edited by PikeCoGreenTractorMan; 09-17-2019 at 04:22 PM.
    Brian




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    Old Pa-pa Old Cajun's Avatar
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    In my view it's all about the money, make sure you have it stacked enough to be comfortable with and confident in retiring.

    I retired at 51, the company I worked for offered early retirement at 51 if you had all your points (a combination of your age plus years of service), most guys I worked with took advantage of that option (lots of long hours took its' toll and you were ready at 51).

    Been retired 21 years, no regrets.
    Neil

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    Tomfive's Avatar
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    I will hit full retirement age (66) next month and I am still working full time.

    I guess that I will decide to retire when the bad days outnumber the good day by a fair margin. Working into age 70 is not out of the question as long as I am enjoying work. For extra income, working part time at my current company, as a semi retired consultant/manager, if that opportunity arises, may also be an option.

    We have 3 managers that are at or about full retirement age, within 8 months of each other. One is going to retire next June, he has already declared. His wife has back issues, and he is basically burning out since his engineer suddenly became ill and sadly passed away. He is doing both jobs and upper management doesn't want to hire another engineer for him right now, as business is slowing a bit temporarily. His decision to retire is that he and his wife want to enjoy retirement before wife's back becomes a major issue that will prevent that enjoyment (such as traveling, etc.)

    The other guy is threatening to retire, but he has some family issues that came up and according to him, can't financially afford to retire just yet.

    Financially, I think that I can be ready just about any time, without too much "cut back for retirement". We did a basic input/output spreadsheet to see what our projected monies will be after we retire, then went to a financial planner for his opinion. I think I'm OK, planner thinks I should invest more to cover inflation.

    They say the best feeling is knowing that you CAN retire and knowing when you will retire and not telling anyone at work.

    Good Luck if you do decide to retire, but if you're considering retirement at 55, you have to consider health insurance, which can be expensive. When you're over 65, Medicare eligibility helps a lot in deciding.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Tom

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    Funny you bring it up, because I plan on retiring in about 5 months. A couple of years ago we had our financial advisor run the numbers and my wife did it also and all the numbers looked good. The reason we are picking that time is that is when my wife will be able to draw her pension. That in its self isn't enough money to retire on but we both have 401k's that we have been putting money in for years. I will turn 58 just a month after I retire so that is a fairly young age. We have played with a lot of the numbers, high rate of return, low rate of return, spending a lot of money or not much every month, all the numbers say we are funded even if we live well into our 90's.

    I hardly ever over think but my wife does. She has gotten on forums like this one but for retirement. One phrase she told me that has really stuck with me "At some point, you are trading time for money". You are giving up free time to make more money. If you don't need the money why keep working?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomfive View Post
    Good Luck if you do decide to retire, but if you're considering retirement at 55, you have to consider health insurance, which can be expensive. When you're over 65, Medicare eligibility helps a lot in deciding.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Definitely something to consider. Since I've been self employed my whole life, I'm already paying 100% of my health insurance. It's in the budget projections.

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    I retired at age 55 with 35 years of air force civil service as an avionic tech at Robins afb. I got burnt out with the pressure and constant "we need it yesterday" craziness. That and the silliness of stuff like them worrying more about a speck of rust on a tool than doing your job. I would have made it another 5 years but I decided enough was enough.
    Last edited by jimmylh; 09-17-2019 at 11:07 AM.
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